WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, frustrated by his staff’s handling of the abuse allegations against Rob Porter, is increasingly venting about Chief of Staff John Kelly and speculating about potential replacements, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
One senior administration official and three other people briefed on those conversations told NBC News Trump is angry at Kelly’s initial statement of effusive support about Porter’s character — and then the quick walk back the next day.
After Porter’s two ex-wives made allegations of physical and verbal abuse in The Daily Mail, Kelly said in a statement on Tuesday: “Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him.”
On Wednesday, Kelly issued a statement saying that “there is no place for domestic violence in our society,” but that he stood by his original comments. Porter, who has denied the abuse allegations, left his job as White House staff secretary on Thursday.